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Modifying comparisons

Do you know how to use phrases like much shorter than, almost as fit as and exactly the same as?

Look at these examples to see how comparisons can be modified.

He's much shorter than his brother.
Good-quality socks are almost as important as your running shoes.
Our hotel room was exactly the same as the photos showed.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Grammar B1-B2: Modifying comparisons: 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

There are several different ways to compare things in English. We can also modify comparisons to show big or small differences.


We can use comparative adjectives to compare different things.

Max is taller than Judy.
You're more patient than I am.
His first book is less interesting than his second.

We can use as … as with an adjective to say that two things are the same, or not as … as to say that one thing is less than another. 

Her hair is as long as mine.
It's not as sunny as yesterday.

We can also use expressions like different from, similar to and the same as.

England is different from the United Kingdom.
His car is similar to mine.
The results from the first test are the same as the results from the second.

Showing big differences

We can use much, so much, a lot, even or far with comparative adjectives.

Sales in July were a lot higher than sales in June.
He was far less experienced than the other applicant.

We can use nowhere near with as … as.

The interview was nowhere near as difficult as the written exam.

We can use very, really, completely or totally with different from.

They may be twins, but they're completely different from each other.

Showing small differences

We can use slightly, a little, a bit, a little bit or not much with comparative adjectives.

The number of registrations has been slightly lower than we expected.
Houses in my city are not much more expensive than flats.

We can use almost, nearly, not quite, roughly, more or less or about with as … as and the same as.

She's almost as old as I am.
The figures for May are more or less the same as the figures for June.

We can use very or really with similar to.

My son looks really similar to my father when he was that age.

Showing there is no difference

We can use exactly the same as or just as … as to emphasise that there is no difference.

My grandma's cakes still taste exactly the same as when I was a child!
A new phone can be just as expensive as a new computer these days.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Grammar B1-B2: Modifying comparisons: 2

Language level

Intermediate: B1


Hello, thank you for the lesson. I understood everything. Having said that, I have a question: How can I used the modifier "rather"? ( It is not in the lesson)

Thank you so much

Dear all,

Could anyone explain to me the difference between A LOT OF and LOTS OF? I am not sure when I should use a lot of or lots of.

Thank you soooo much in advance!!! <3

Hi Natasa Tanasa,

Good question! Actually, they are pretty similar. They mean the same thing, and are both relatively informal in style. They can both be used with uncountable or plural nouns. 

A lot of is used more often than lots of, but even so, they're both very common.


The LearnEnglish Team

Learning this rule can be useful for students in Russia who chose to write English Unified State Exam. In this exam one needs to compose quite a large essay on a given topic and this part requires to express two completely different points of view. The great difference between these points can be shown by using modifying comparisons which are easily understandable thanks to this article.

i have heard the usage on youtube/in movies

long as , soon as (contrary to as soon as , as long as)

does this rule apply to other adjectives too
Ex: (quick as instead of as quick as , difficult as ...etc

So are these below examples correct informally?

1)Her hair is long as mine.
2)Soon as i see something cooking, i can't wait to eat it
3)The interview was nowhere near difficult as the written exam.

Hi lima9795,

Well spotted! Yes, this form is sometimes used, especially in speaking. I think the (as) ... as structure is usually at the head of a phrase, for example your sentence 2, or Give me the phone, quick as you can

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your response

Yes i have seen in spoken english (informal situations)

So , what do you mean exactly by this structure is only used at the head of phrase ?

Could you please elaborate !!

is it ok to say these sentences in the following way !!

1) Her hair is long as mine.

2) Soon as i see something cooking, i can't wait to eat it

3) The interview was nowhere near difficult as the written exam.

Hi lima9795,

I mean that (I think) dropping the first as usually happens at the start of a phrase (not in the middle or at the end of a phrase). Your sentence 2 and my sentence above (quick as you can) are examples of this.

In your sentences 1 and 3, the as ... as structure is not at the start of a phrase, so they are less likely to be used. In sentence 1, it's inside a verb phrase which starts with is. In sentence 3, it's inside an adverb phrase which starts with nowhere near.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

They are not as much as cool as you guys are...OR
They are not cool as much as you guys are

which one is correct ?

Are both wrong then how to quantify expressions?